ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Being a Writer is 10X Shittier Than Being On a Job!

#2 No salary for showing up

Photo by Jan Kopřiva: (Pexels)

My life is no less than a roller coaster ride — with the ups and downs.

After my Engineering, I started my career in a bank and studied business management, but I had to quit because of a tumor in my spine. I was quasi-paralyzed for almost a year, was a stay-at-home mom, then started a business that failed, and finally found solace in writing.

So, yes, I have seen it all. Most of it, at least.

Right now, I am contented with my job at hand—Writing.

Just yesterday I was talking to my friends. They thought this was all so cool. Then, they went green about my being a writer.

“You can work whenever you want.”

“And wherever you want.”

“You have no one to boss you around.”

“You don’t have to ask anyone for a leave.”

“You can scale up to any limits without a time span!”

If you are a wannabe writer, things will look tempting, and ideas like hanging the boots tomorrow pop up in your mind.

But if you are a writer, you will know how far away from the truth these things are.

I will tell you how.

No one to tell you what to do

When you are in a job, you have a manager. If you are lucky, will give you your space to work and will keep a check on your progress.

And if you are not, will breathe down your neck. Or will be a workaholic.

Lucky or not, you always have someone to who you are accountable. And that ensures you get your job done.

Writing is a different ballgame altogether.

With no boss around you, you are on your own. It is just you pushing yourself.

You don’t HAVE TO do anything. It all comes down to what you choose to do. Whether you want to do it. Hell! No one’s asking me.

It is great when things happen your way, but it can be excruciating when things are bleak.

And trust me, that’s tough!

No fixed assurance of a salary

In a job, you work 50%, 80%, 110% — that salary is still coming on the 25th of the month. The bare minimum. And all the muck and grime of the whole month just wash away in a moment.

For us writers! 25th- we would still slog it out and pray for a response from that publication. Or hope readers just lap up what we have to say — so that we get some green dough.

But before that, do you know how much we writers have to slog before we see some green?

For us, the math works a little differently here.

First, you need to give in your all, slog it out, and spew content after content with no notice, appreciation, remuneration, or response.

And with the pace of an almost-dying sloth, things start to move—a long way to go, but yes, something to hold on to.

We take inspiration from that.

No soul with whom you can bitch

I remember we had a corner which was our bitching spot. We used to rant like anything. Oh! What an outlet! That’s resurrection time in office.

And with writing.

Even my husband fakes interest.

All that self-motivating yourself to sloth-paced progress, okay, now add to that — no one cares.

No one is interested in your sad story. No one wants to know about our struggle.

You need to endure everything yourself. And the sad part? All the while, you have to produce engaging, uplifting, outstanding work.

They only understand one thing and are concerned with that only.

You got published! Your book is out! Great! Party?

And where were you when I cried my eyes out… trying to finish my manuscript?

No job description when you join

When you join a job, you are clear about your work. There is a job description. Your work is cut out. You know you have to do this, this, and that. Simple. And there is someone to guide you — mentor, buddy, boss.

Enter writing job.

Exactly like this guy!!

You are clueless. Go figure.

Somehow, you start and do your job. Every day you come across a new thing. A new skill that you need to learn. Critical and game-changing things. Each is a must for staying alive in this.

And all this with no formal induction. It’s all hands-on from day one.

Learn on your own, or pay for it.

I was saying…

My dear friends, it’s not all rosy on this side.

Next time you find my writing job so glamorous, I would love to switch places for some days.

Live it up and then come back and tell me.

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